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Are You Talking to the Right Person

talking.jpgWe each have a story about a wacky experience on the phone. Unfortunately for us, they’re true stories.

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marylynnI called Michael, our tech guy. I started talking about an issue with which we needed his help. Suddenly, the guy on the other end said, “Who is this?” I said, “It’s Mary-Lynn.” He said, “Oh, hey Mary-Lynn, how are things?” At that point, I didn’t know who was on the other end of the phone! It turns out I had called a different Michael, my old personal trainer.

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georgeI called my parent’s house. A woman answered the phone. I said, “Hey mom, it’s your son.” I asked how she was doing. She said, “Fine.” I asked if dad was there. She said, “Yes, I’ll get him.” A man came to the phone. I started to explain why I was calling. He said, “What are you talking about?” At that moment, I realized I was talking to a dad, but not my dad. Even worse – I had also talked to a mom, but not my mom in the same conversation!

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Consequential conversations

These conversations made us think about how important it is to talk to the right person. In our stories, there weren’t any repercussions. However, there are times when talking to the wrong person can have major consequences.

Nothing gets accomplished by talking to the wrong person. It’s a huge waste of time – for both you and the person to whom you’re talking.

If you’re talking to the wrong person, you may get misdirected. You could become discouraged. You might even lose your focus.

So we want to discuss three situations where it’s important to talk to the right person.

Are you talking to an expert?

A friend of ours says this best. If you want to make a million dollars a year, don’t talk to someone who’s making $999,999!

Don’t seek advice from someone who hasn’t achieved everything you’re trying to achieve. A lot of people like to give their opinions. They may be family or friends. We love them dearly, but they can’t help us if they haven’t done what we’re trying to do.

It doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to offer. It just means you have to filter what they say.

Are you talking to the decision-maker?

This is particularly important when you’re trying to make a sale. By “sale”, we don’t just mean in the typical sense of the word. You may be trying to sell someone on giving you a loan. Can they make the decision? If not, find out who can and talk to them.

This also applies to buying. You may want to negotiate a better deal. Does the person you’re talking to have the authority to give you a better deal? If not, find someone who does.

Are you talking to the person who knows the person to whom you need to talk?

You may not know the person to whom you need to speak. Do you know a person who knows him or her? Do you know The Connector?

If there’s more than one person between you and the person with whom you want to have a conversation, it’s tough. It will probably be more productive to get a direct referral to the person who can help you reach bigg success!

Do you have a funny story of talking to the wrong person?

We sure hope we’re not alone!

Please share your story with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

We thank you so much for reading our post today!

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Next time, a member of our community shares what life on his own terms means to him. Please join us. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Is Your Status Costing You Money?

balance We all experience trade-offs. One of the most significant ones is time and money. If we have money, we can use it to buy services that give us more time. Another trade-off is status and money.

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Status at work

We may ask our boss for more money, but he or she tells us that it’s not in the budget. So instead, we’re offered a title – it gives us more credibility but it doesn’t line our coffers.

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marylynn When I was starting out in my radio career, I helped out quite a bit in the production department putting together commercials. I eventually became the go-to person when the production director wasn’t available. When I asked for more money, I was told it wasn’t in the budget but they gave me the title of Assistant Production Director. This helped me negotiate for a higher salary when I left for a different market.

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So sometimes the title can lead to more money. If that’s the case, great! But we need to go into it with eyes wide open because status without money usually doesn’t do us much good in the short- or long-run. We may have to work more hours because of our new title. We may be held more responsible. So we have to weigh the benefits.

Bringing it home

We also often fall into the status trap personally. We buy things, such as cars or houses that we don’t really need or want. We do it to keep up with our friends and neighbors.

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georgeTwo of my friends are best friends. They don’t do this anymore but, when they were first starting out, it was almost comical to watch them compete with each other. One bought a new car; within a month or so the other got a new car. One of them bought a new house; the next thing you knew the other one had his house on the market and was buying a new one. One got married; soon the other was engaged. One had a kid; soon the other one was an expectant father!

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The point is to recognize when you’re about to do something solely to increase your status. It may hurt you financially! Which means, in the long run, you’ll have less status than you would like.

It’s funny … what often keeps us from getting rich is acting like we’re rich before we are rich!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Next time, we’ll discuss one more thing to add to your schedule to keep you on schedule. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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The Negotiating Table

We know a gentleman who’s bought and sold businesses for years. He closes a deal about every ninety days. He said that every time he buys, he feels like he paid too much. Conversely, when he sells, he always feels that he didn’t get enough.

Negotiating is a nerve-wracking process – whether it’s for a job, a car, a loan, or anything else!

So today, we’ll serve up some delicious tips for negotiating your next deal. Think of it as a three-course meal – an appetizer, the main course, and dessert.

There are two things to keep in mind before we get to our three courses.

  • Know what you want. What are your taste buds craving? What’s your ideal deal? Have a clear picture of this before you start.       
  • Ask for what you want. It may not be on the menu. Ask for it anyway. You never know – the chef might be able to whip it up for you!

Appetizers
You won’t get filled up at this stage, but you will get a taste of what’s to come. During this course, you’re feeling things out. What are they looking for from you? What might they offer?

Will you be working together long-term if this deal is consummated? If so, focus on building the relationship. Look for win / win. And keep this in mind – if they like you, you may get a better deal.

Try to determine how much leverage you have. Why do they want to do this deal? How badly do they want it? Do they have to do it? Who’s in a stronger position – you or them?

Be careful not to put too much on the table during this course. For example, you’ll save things like your price and terms for the next course.

Main course
You may walk away before you get to this course. If you’re still interested, here’s a caveat. Negotiations often stall here. So if you like what you’re hearing, find ways to keep things moving along.

If you get stuck on a point, set it aside and come back to it later. Maybe if you chew on something else, this will be more appetizing later.

Don’t lose sight of the bigg picture because you’re trying so hard to win a point. You may get a morsel but lose the meat!

You shouldn’t concede unless they do so as well. This sets the tone you want. For example, let’s say you’re negotiating your salary. Maybe they can’t quite pay you what you want, but they are willing to give you some additional time off. You may accept that trade-off.

Dessert
You may decide you don’t want dessert – you know you can’t come to terms. But assuming you decide to stay, you’re ready to negotiate all the details. That’s one reason this course can be the most nerve-wracking of all. Plus you’re getting closer to actually committing.

You probably won’t feel fully satisfied at the end. Be happy if they’re equally unhappy!

Ultimately, they may reject your offer or you may turn them down. In either case, what are your options? Keep them open so you have a back-up.

What techniques do you use at the negotiating table?
Share them with us by leaving a Comment below.

Our bigg quote is by John F. Kennedy. We’re sure he had loftier ideas when he said this, but it’s still appropriate.

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”

So, enter every negotiation knowing that, you don’t have to do it, but don’t be afraid to do it.

In our next blog, we’ll answer a question from a member who wants to know if she should keep her job or buy a franchise. Hopefully by then, we’ll be recovered from this bigg meal! Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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Couples Today are Rethinking Traditional Roles

By Bigg Success Staff
07-15-08

Work – Life Balance

family

If you’re half of a dual-income couple with kids, working out your work – life balance involves negotiating at home and at work. First, you and your spouse need to discuss how household duties as well as child care responsibilities will be divvied up. Who does what when?

The best solution is what works best for you, not what society has traditionally expected. If it works for the two of you and your family, it works!

Redefining roles

According to the Council on Contemporary Families, working couples have seen some significant change in responsibilities over the last 30 years. Men are assuming more duties at home and with the children.

This evolution has been a logical response. If a woman has greater career potential than a man, it may make sense for the man to shoulder more family duties. This is now the case about one-third of the time.

So if a couple decides that’s the best trek for them, the next step involves negotiating at work. For men, this can be difficult because society still often regards household chores and child-rearing as the woman’s role.

Pay vs. flexibility

One of the most effective ways to get the flexibility you need is during a review. Especially if your employer is not able to offer you the pay raise you feel you deserve. Perhaps you can negotiate greater flexibility in lieu of the full pay raise you might like.

Balance your costs with your gains. You may not make as much money as you like, but you may also lower your costs. You can spend more time with your kids rather than paying someone else to do it. That difference may almost offset the lower pay raise.

Pay vs. telecommuting

A question to ask yourself (and your boss) is – can you do more work from home? Save both the time and money of commuting. With today’s high gas prices, you’ll save a lot of money. It doesn’t even have to be every day. Any day you don’t have to drive is a plus.

Once again, it may be best to bring this item up as part of a discussion of pay raises. Perhaps a concession to accepting less of a pay raise is to let you telecommute at least some of the time. You can quickly figure out if your savings equals what you had hoped to earn in additional income. And don’t forget – more income gets taxed, saving money on fuel doesn’t. So compare the after-tax income to the savings from not driving as much.

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